A frequently encountered brightly coloured butterfly that favours open areas as well as woodland edges.
Comma: punctuation marksPost date: Wednesday, 29 July, 2015 - 00:00
Comma in Dorset: what your tweets tell us ...Post date: Monday, 6 May, 2019 - 21:23
With its rather irregular, almost ragged, wing edges the comma is unique in appearance and familiar to many as they freely venture into shrubby parks and gardens although their main habitat is broadleaf woodland where they can be seen patrolling woodland rides and glades. The males are somewhat territorial and will attack any other male coming within their chosen patch; females however are made very welcome! Like others in the same family they hibernate over winter but will readily emerge on warmer winter days to feed and so may be seen at almost anytime of year apart from a break in June between first and second broods. Nettles form the food plant of the larvae and the second brood adults are very often seen around brambles and enjoy blackberries.
Apart from one report in week 8 in February and one in week 43 in October the records in the Nature of Dorset tweets database show emergence of the comma from hibernation in week 11 towards the end of March and then reports have come weekly through until week 18 at the later end of May. The inter-brood break seems to last until week 24 in late June and then the reports again regular until week 33 at the end of August. Interestingly there is then another break until a further flurry of activity from week 37 to week 39 in September so that may be evidence of a third brood here in the south?
There are reports of comma butterflies from seventy three sites in Dorset and the list is made up primarily of woodland and scrubby sites but heathland and coastal habitats also feature which shows how diverse and widespread they can be.
|Scientific Name||Polygonia c-album|
|Species Group||Nymphalid Butterflies Admirals and Fritillaries|
|Additional Identification Notes|